High River United Church of High River, Alberta

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  Date: Sunday, March 27, 2016       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 7 mins 6 secs    
Passage: Luke 24:1-35    
  Description: Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed. Hallelujah! Those are powerful words. When we gather in this place together, we are part of something much bigger than anyone of us individually, something much more powerful, full of possibility and wonder and hope. For….. Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed. Hallelujah! But on that Sunday morning, as the disciples rose on the third day after the horror of the crucifixion, all they could think of was that Jesus was dead. We know that feeling – you wake up-- in that first moment, all seems well and then the truth hits – your beloved is not there, will not be there today. Your job is gone. You are infertile. Your home has been flooded. And the waves of grief begin once again. We know what the disciples felt like as they faced another day without Jesus, another day without the rabbi who had shaped their days with love, compassion and challenging teachings. He was gone. The truth sank in a little bit more, as they tried to eat food that their stomachs didn’t want. Then suddenly there were voices – women’s voices – saying that Jesus had risen from the dead.
  Date: Sunday, March 13, 2016       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 18 mins 1 sec    
Passage: Matthew 7:12-29    
  Description: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The first recorded use of that saying was in a sermon preached in 1175. Here’s a version from 1602 (in the play Narcissus): “They can but bringe horse to the water brinke / But horse may choose whether that horse will drinke.” I think if that saying had been around in Jesus’ time, we would have found it in this section of the Sermon on the Mount. It really is what Jesus is saying: “I can bring you the good news of God’s love and show you how to live it, but I can’t make you do it.” Now I think that Jesus is getting a little impatient by this point in the day. He has been preaching for hours (we probably only have, in the gospel, the short summary of his teachings that day – the Coles note version or the twitter feed.) Jesus has been telling stories and sharing all that he knows, but deep down he is starting to wonder if the people will ever understand. He sees the few in the crowd who have that spark in their eye, that wonder on their face, that says they are understanding what he is sharing. But most of the crowd, he knows that they just don’t get it. They are so used to their old ways, following the rules precisely and thinking that’s what God wants, that they can’t hear his vision of the kingdom, of God’s justice and compassion. How can he say it in another way?
  Date: Sunday, March 06, 2016       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 16 mins 17 secs    
Passage: Matthew 6:19-7:12    
  Description: What do we really need to give up in order to be more alive in God and more aware of Christ’s transformation and aliveness in us? Following today’s reading from Matthew, I would much rather give up worry and anxiety for Lent than chocolate. For most certainly those things cause us suffering and great distraction. The interesting thing about anxiety is that is usually generated by our alarm system. And our alarm system is almost always activated by a felt, real or anticipated sense of separation. That’s really important to remember. My alarm system may be ringing because, I’ve just lost a loved one and I am feeling that separation. But it may be that my experience of loss is triggering alarm in the relationships I have with my loved ones, as if the sudden awareness of my mortality frightens me with the real or anticipated sense of what that means for all those around me that I love so much. Or maybe, there’s a move coming up with one of our children, or grandchildren. Human beings are designed to be together, in relationship. This trait is hardwired by nature into us and all mammals. It boils down to a matter of survival. We need each other to live. And so it can be argued that the greatest sense of aliveness exists in being together. Facing separation flies in the face of that deep human need of togetherness and cause us to feel anxious. When we pause long enough to capture some of the essence of what Jesus is teaching his people about anxiety, we begin to understand that this was a very alarming time.
  Date: Sunday, February 28, 2016       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 21 mins 45 secs    
Passage: Matthew 5:17-48    
  Description: Some scriptures are just difficult to read. We cringe when we hear words like those spoken by Jesus in today’s passage: “I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the grounds of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matt. 5:32) The reality is that there are lots of divorced and re-married people in this congregation, and reading this scripture out loud in worship (two weeks in a row) is actually quite embarrassing. Neither I, not anyone else here, wants to wag a finger at anyone else in this congregation and say, “Naughty, naughty.” We are here to love and support one another. We all understand that there are very profound & usually painful reasons for divorce, as well as much delight & joy that can come in marrying again & having someone with whom to share life’s journey. So do we just ignore or skip over such scriptures in the name of lovingkindness? Do we say, “Jesus didn’t really know what he was talking about?” Yet, we have committed this year to taking the Bible seriously; not literally, but seriously. So we’re going to dive into the deep end, and consider what Jesus says about anger, adultery, retaliation and enemies and yes, even divorce. Seriously!! Consider that the first people, who listened to Jesus, would have felt just as uncomfortable with what Jesus was saying as we do.
  Date: Sunday, February 21, 2016       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 12 mins 38 secs    
Passage: Matthew 6:1-18    
  Description: Transformation, like the mysterious germination of a seed happens undercover, in secret, in the transforming presence of God. I find great comfort in this. So often we think God’s love is dependent upon us saying the right things, in the right place with the right people, for all to see. Or at the very least getting it right as if there’s a certain formula necessary in order to guarantee a successful divine intervention based on how pleasing our petition is or how poetic our words might be. Whether it’s calling the press to cover a great donation to a charity, or proclaiming a prayer over the loud speaker in worship, or complaining how much discomfort we’re in as we fast, Jesus makes a point that this is not the way.
  Date: Sunday, February 07, 2016       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 12 mins 41 secs    
Passage: Mark 2:1-19    
  Description: Chapter 26 from Brian McLaren's "We Make the Road by Walking" - If we believe in God's kingdom, then we will make it real. In a crazy world where people think that a little more violence will end violence, a little more hate will end hatred, a little more revenge can end revenge, a little more gold can cure greed and a little more division can create cohesion - we need more than ever the teachings of Jesus.
  Date: Sunday, January 31, 2016       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 18 mins    
Passage: Matthew 16:13-17:9    
  Description: Jesus makes the road by walking with his disciples right into the heart of Roman territory. Standing with his disciples in front of this rock face with its ancient niches to the gods, and now the centre of Caesar-ville, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is? I can’t quite imagine the state of the disciples’ minds. Is it a trick question? The question asked in this location is certainly not lost on Jesus’ followers. They take a stab at it. Well, some say John the Baptist, or Elijah, or Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Jesus sharpens the question, “But who do YOU say that I am?” Aye yai yai! Let’s hit the pause button for a moment. Let’s recall that Jesus asks the first question about who people say the son of man is. This is a charged political question. We need to remember we’re in Caesar-ville and that Caesars over the course of the Roman Empire referred to themselves as sons of the gods.
  Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 9 mins 41 secs    
Passage: Matthew 25:31-40    
  Description: Jesus uses notion of Hell as a teaching tool. He uses Hell as a graphic and powerful way to teach about God’s love, to introduce peace and condemn violence, and to wake people up about their current practice and life choices. The idea of hell arrived quite late in the theological development of Judaism. Even the notion of an afterlife arrived quite late, too. By the time of Jesus, the idea of an afterlife was well situated in the wisdom and teaching of the day, but only after having lived as an exiled people among other cultures and having adapted those understandings of the afterlife. It turns out that the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, and the Egyptians who all had their own versions of what happened after death provided influence in the development of a theology of heaven and hell for Judaism. The Christian theology of the resurrection advances those understandings to the place where the gates of Hell are blown open anddeath has no victory. God in Christ has conquered Hell. Which leaves us with the awareness that hell has no purpose or power in God’s compassionate realm of eternal life except perhaps has a teaching tool.
  Date: Sunday, January 10, 2016       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 15 mins 18 secs    
Passage: Luke 2:41-52 & Mark 1:9-20    
  Description: Jesus, Yeshua, It really is quite astounding that we gather here to sing “Jesus loves me” and proclaim, “I’m gonna shout out my love for Jesus!” What is it about this man who lived 2,000 years ago that is so captivating? What in him makes it worth our time, energy and money to continue to gather around his name and to work as a community to live his Way? What makes us proclaim love for a man who lived & died long ago?
  Date: Sunday, January 03, 2016       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 17 mins 44 secs    
Passage: Isaiah 60:1-6 & Matthew 2:1-15    
  Description: What does it mean to follow Jesus? The wisemen teach us that people of all faiths are welcome in our community, and help us learn about living our faith.



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Wednesdays - 7 - 8:30 p.m. - May 1 - 29 Come explore Prayer through your whole being-ness, with...



123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

(403) 652-3168


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